Unite Americans around our longstanding ideals of Liberty and Democracy, and resist Authoritarianism, by creating a bipartisan majority focused on common principles, the Constitution, institutions, and norms, which serve as the bedrock of Western democracy.

Our Beliefs and Vision

We believe that most Americans share common goals and common aspirations that can and should unite us, but our current approach to politics obscures this truth, focusing only on our differences.
Furthermore, we believe these shared values are profoundly American. Firmly grounded in the Constitution and realized through our institutions and norms, our values have enabled us to build a democracy that has withstood civil war, recessions, and profound change within and beyond our borders. They have catapulted us from a British colony to a global superpower in less than 250 years. While our democracy has never been perfect, it has always aspired to be a more perfect union, built on a solid foundation of shared principles.
Today, our democracy is threatened by the erosion of institutions and norms that have served as the bedrock of our country. When we lack strong institutions and norms, politics degenerates into a series of escalating battles between "us vs. them". Politics becomes a game that prizes winning, no matter the cost.
Eventually, we retreat into our "tribes", beginning to associate with, listen to, and value only members of our political party, religion, race, or other affiliation. We miss the opportunity to be enriched and inspired by our diversity, inspired by a healthy "competition of ideas", and guided by the fundamentals of our shared values and Constitution.
That makes us susceptible to something profoundly un-American: Authoritarianism (and other forms of Illiberal Democracy). This can provide tantalizing false hope to people in genuine pain, but ultimately robs those very people of their voice, their freedom, and their prosperity. Once a nation strays toward Authoritarianism, history suggests that recovering the loss of Liberty is very difficult.
The type of Authoritarianism we are worried about is not the dramatic image of a military dictator driving tanks down Main Street. Authoritarianism can be much more boring and tolerable, lulling us into accepting and normalizing actions that actually represent a radical departure from what America stands for.
The graver Authoritarian danger lies in leaders and movements that undermine facts and destabilize institutions to make the country more open to—and even dependent on—their own personal control without check or balance. This approach to government prioritizes the rule of one man's personal will over the protection of civil liberties and the rule of law. This type of leadership devalues the "competition of ideas" and stifles dissent, which present a threat to the singular goals and glory of the Leader, who claims to represent the majority. This is possible because Authoritarian leaders can be very persuasive. They know how to play tot the fears and frustrations of constituents to trade the liberties of their fellow Americans for the promise of privileged protection for their own "tribe."
Many symptoms of this Tribalism and Authoritarianism are now commonplace: deepening polarization and partisanship; politicians interested only in reelection and self-gain; disputes over who is a "real" American; insensitivity to the plight or pain of those in different social or economic classes; reflexive, intense opposition to "the other side," and bitter policy battles that waste time and money while generating minimal results.
But none of these is the root cause. The root cause is that we stopped trusting one another and stopped believing that we are thoroughly a Union: a union of states, a union of ideas, a union of cultures. And most importantly, a union of people, united across divides of party, geography, income, gender, and race in this exceedingly rare and precious experiment in democracy. And this loss of united belief has been accelerated in an age when globalization and technological change are creating economic winners and losers, deepening our divisions.
It doesn't have to be this way. We believe that under all of this polarization, fighting, and despair, there remains a bedrock of core American ideals. Our greatest strengths have always been forged from our greatest differences. When we stop believing in our ability to fashion our differences into a more perfect union, we become a typical story in history: the decline of yet another empire eroded from within. But the story of America has never been typical. We are the shining example, and we must once again rise to our calling.
Out of many, one.

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© DemocracyUnite 2017